Unlimited Learning, Inc. (UL) provides instruction in basic literacy development, life skills instruction, GED preparation, basic computer training, transitions into work or college, basic pre-med training, and English as a Second Language. Classes are offered for 48 hrs/wk from August through June 20th of every year. GED exams are provided by Colorado Department of Education and are given once a month in Cortez at its Unlimited Learning Center.
UL's high-tech classrooms in Cortez have become a focal point for coursework within Utah State University's (USU) system through its Blanding, Utah campus, the College of Eastern Utah. In this way, more college courses are made available each semester to area residents. The curriculum focuses on career training to prepare enrollees for job placement in high-demand occupations. Since 96% of applicants are vetted by the State to be low income, UL's focus includes procuring funding to cover educational and training expenses for enrollees from its large, multi-culturally diverse service area.
The primary focus of UL is on job training, specifically in high-demeand medical fields. Students who enroll at UL are tested and assigned to degree or job training program, or to remediation courses, from literay and basic ESL through GED. We also offer support courses to assist students as they prepare to enter specific careers on prepare to enter college. Out transition and remediation courses are offered onsite, online, through live video, or a combination of delivery methods.
Medical classes currently offered through distance education include Medical Terminology, Medical Administrative Competencies, Medical Clinical Competencies, Phlebotomy, Anatomy and Physiology. In addition to the medical classes, students can also pursue various associate degrees in other specialized areas, with all classes accessed through distance education. Currently, UL is providing 42 college courses to the community and surrounding region. Our students can complete degree courses from AA's through PhD's if they so desire.
In addition, UL also presently offers courses to Kashunamiut School District in Chevak, Alaska through interactive videoconferencing. Specifically, we have provided classes in Pre-Medical Prep, Hospitality Training, GIS Training, 3D Computer Animation, Transition Into College and Work, and Health / Nutrition.
The Montezuma and Dolores Counites Adult Education Program was established in 1976 to provide educational services to the rural, multicultural population residing in the Four Corners region of Colorado.
Southwest Board of Cooperative Services (SWBCS), a rural collaborative educational entity, was originally designated as the fiscal flow-through agency for the program’s federal funding. Starting in 1993, the Adult Education Program, now Unlimited Learning, Inc., began working with the College of Eastern Utah – San Juan Campus in collaborative grant writing projects, the largest of which was the multimillion STAR Schools Grant, serving educational entities in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. The focus of the six-year grant was to train teachers to incorporate various forms of technology into their curriculum and classroom instruction. The Adult Education Program was the lead agency for the grant in southwest Colorado, providing the technical training for teachers in the area.
In 2001, the Adult Education Program collaborated with the Housing Authoring of Montezuma County to build a community learning center. After almost three years of grant writing, the two programs raised $760,000 to build a facility in Cortez for the area’s adult education services. The Unlimited Learning Center opened its doors in September 2004, offering instruction and job skills development to adults (17 years and older) for 48 hours per week.
In 2005, the Adult Education Program applied for and was awarded a 501 c (3) non-profit status and became known as Unlimited Learning, Inc. In 2006, Unlimited Learning, Inc. wrote and was awarded a Department of Agriculture “Distance Education and Telemedicine” grant of $430,300 for the purchase of distance education equipment. In the fall of 2006, the Unlimited Learning Center began using its equipment for receiving classes from the College of Eastern Utah through live interactive teleconferencing.
The first class, Beginning Navajo, was the “beta-test” for our distance ed delivery system. The class was so successful that in the spring semester of 2007, the Medical Coding certification program was started. Medical coding students graduated in August 2008, having not only completed their training and internships, but also passing the national licensing exams and acquiring on-line coding jobs from major coding industries.
Presently, the Unlimited Learning Center has expanded its programming with the addition of associate degrees and the Medical Lab Assistant program.
Increasing numbers of residents in our two counties and beyond are finding that our distance education option is the answer to their training and college needs, in the face of the continuing rise in the cost of living, especially in gas prices!
Other funding sources have equipped our Center with state-of-the-art video-broadcasting systems and computers to allow students to access the best onsite and online instruction.